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Guru Nanak Jayanti which is also called Guru Nanak Gurpurab or Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav is on November 14 this year. It marks the birth of Guru Nanak, the first of the 10 Sikh gurus and is a sacred festival and celebration. Every year the date of his birthday changes according to the Hindu calendar as it falls in the month of Kartik and is celebrated on a full moon day in this month. According to the Gregorian calendar Guru Nanak was born on April 15 in 1469. His birthplace is in present-day Pakistan. We tell you more about this festival and how it is celebrated in the country. Also Read - Ramadan Mubarak 2021 Wishes: Best Ramzan Mubarak Greetings, Whatsapp Forwards, Quotes, Images

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Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated every year as Guru Nanak is the founder of Sikhism. He is worshipped by the Sikh community and his birth is a celebration of the great life he lived. The Sikh community celebrates the birth anniversary of all the 10 Sikh Gurus but this one is on a larger scale as he is the first guru and also the founder of this religion. Not just in India, celebrations are held in other parts of the world as well where the Sikh community resides. ALSO SEE How Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated in Amritsar

How is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated?


Gurpurab celebrations begin at least two days in advance with the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh community. Called Akhand Path, it is a 48-hour-long, non-stop reading of the book.

The next day, a procession is organized which is headed by the five beloved ones or panj pyaras where they carry the Sikh flag and the Guru Granth Sahib in a palanquin. This part of the celebration is called Nagarkirtan. There are singers who follow the five people and sing along hymns as the procession goes into the streets and pass on the teachings of Guru Nanak. These streets are usually decorated for the festivities with Sikh flags and flowers and people join in the procession too. in many places, there is also a band that follows along and performs martial arts and showcase their swordsmanship using traditional Sikh weapons. Sometimes they even display mock battles. These processions are essentially to make people more aware about Guru Nanak and his contribution to the Sikh community. You will usually find community leaders walking along the procession and sharing the Sikh guru’s teachings. Other devotees also join in to make it a successful celebration.

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On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the celebrations begin before dawn at about 4-5 am. People head to the gurudwara and sing morning hymns. Each Sikh guru has a set of different hymns that are sung on their birth anniversary. After this session, people assemble for a reading from the holy book called the katha or reading session. Post this, people often attend kirtan where songs are sung in praise of Guru Nanak. Like in all gurudwaras, the festivities do not get over without a community feast called langar. This is served to everyone and anyone who comes to the gurudwara irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. On Gurpurab, there are special delicacies made as an offering to the founder of the Sikh community on his birthday. The food is made in a community kitchen in the gurudwara itself. The food is served with love in the spirit of service and devotion. You will find several people and not just Sikhs come to the gurudwara to attend the langar.

But this is not the end of the celebration, in some of the gurudwaras, celebrations are also held in the night. These festivities begin post sunset and go on until late night. After offering prayers, devotees sing along in the kirtan session. Around 1.20 am, they sing Gurbani which refers to compositions by the Sikh gurus from the Guru Granth Sahib. This is so as it is believed that Guru Nanak was born at 1.20 am. After this, the celebrations wrap up by 2 am and people head home. Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the most important festivals for Sikhs and states like Punjab and Haryana is where you will find a grand celebration.

Photographs: Shutterstock


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